Media advisory - 088(2009)


What future for human rights and democracy in Europe?

The role of the Council of Europe

Date: 11 September 2009, 9.30 am-6 pm

Location: Assemblée Nationale,126 rue de l’Université (Salle Lamartine), Paris

Description: Established in the post-war period sixty years ago to consolidate and promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the Council of Europe is confronted today with new challenges in a Europe enlarged to 47 member countries.

In a context of world economic recession and post-conflict situations in several regions of Europe, the common values of protection of human rights and rule of law seem threatened. How are they to be reaffirmed? Should new frames of reference be proposed?

Europe’s identity is multiple and diversified; how can cultural diversity be combined with respect for each person’s rights as a citizen for the sake of greater social cohesion?

What is the added value of Europe to universal values? Is the Europe of values a model for other continents? Where does the Council of Europe stand in the European architecture? How is co-operation with the European Union, the OSCE and the United Nations to be strengthened and optimised?

The Paris Conference proposes to discuss these questions in three workshops bringing together personalities from the realms of politics, civil society and academia throughout Europe.

The discussions will contribute to the preparation of a report on the future of the Council of Europe to be debated at the Autumn session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (28 September-2 October).

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, the Council of Europe Acting Secretary General, and Jean-Claude Mignon, Head of the French delegation to PACE and rapporteur on the future of the Council of Europe, will speak at the opening of the conference.

On the same day, the PACE Committee on Legal affairs and Human Rights will hold a hearing on the need to avoid duplication of the work of the Council of Europe by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

Link to the conference’s website:

Link to the website of the Council of Europe 60th anniversary:

Press contacts :

Micaela Catalano, Head of PACE Communication Unit

Tel. +33 (0)3 88 41 25 95, mobile +33 (0)6 08 56 40 65,

Estelle Steiner, Press Officer, Directorate of Communication

Tel. +33 (0)3 88 41 33 35, mobile +33 6 08 46 01 57,


Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11